Earlier today the OPBF released their update rankings for the end of 2014. The rankings have seen a lot of changes, especially at the top with a number of titles either changing hands or being given up by fighters.
Since the November ranking update we've seen Ryosuke Iwasa vacate his Bantamweight title, as he prepares for an IBF Bantamweight world title eliminator, and we've seen Hisashi Amagasa being removed of the title due to his world title bout with Guillermo Rigondeaux. This has opened up 2 vacancies. On the other hand we've seen a new champion crowned at Super Flyweight, courtesy of Ryo Matsunmoto who stopped Rusalee Samor, and at Light Middleweight, where Dennis Laurente holds the title following his win over the retiring Tadashi Yuba.
As far as the actual rankings we've seen a lot of shake up there as well.
At Minimumweight Go Odaira (now #3, previously #1) has dropped following his loss to Katsunari Takayama in a world title bout. Odaira's fall has seen both Jetli Purissima (#1) and Roque Lauro (#2) move up a place and it could well be that we get an all Filipino title fight in Spring if, as we suspect, Kosei Tanaka vacates the title to challenge for a world title.
At Light Flyweight we've seen a change in the top 5 as Ryoichi Taguchi (previously #4) has been removed from the rankings following his WBA world title win on New Years Eve. Taguchi's place has been filled by Filipino puncher Richard Claveras (#4) whilst Omari Kimweri (#12, previously #6) has been dropped harshly following more than a year of inactivity.
At Flyweight there hasn't been a lot of changes though we have seen Ardin Diale (#2) climb above Japan's Tetsuma Hayashi (#3) with the fighters just swapping places. We're still expecting to see champion Koki Eto vacate his title in early 2015 and for Takuma Inoue (#1) to fight for the vacant title and a bout between Inoue and Diale would be mouth watering.
We've seen a big shake up at Super Flyweight. As mentioned we've seen Ryo Matsumoto (previously #4) win the title with a knockout win against Rusalee Samor (previously #5). Not only do we have a new champion but also a new #1 contender as Japanese champion Sho Ishida (#1) moves above Mark Anthony Geraldo (#2) in a straight swap. With Matsumoto's win we've also seen Rex Tso (#3) move up one place, whilst Marco Demecillo (#4) move up 2 places, just like Jerwin Ancajas (#5).
In the Bantamweight division we have, as mentioned, seen the title vacated though the other changes have been minimal. The only notable change has seen Konosuke Tomiyama (#11, previously #9) fall 2 places and allow Naoto Uebayashi (#9) and Jethro Pabustan (#10) both into the top 10. With the title being vacant we're hoping for a bout between the highest ranked fighters, Kentaro Masuda (#1) and Shohei Omori (#2).
At Super Bantamweight we've seen JR Magboo (#9, previously #1) fall heavily following a shock loss to Jhon Gemino (#5, previously unranked). Magboo's fall down the rankings has allowed Albert Pagara (#1) to move up a place whilst the recently crowned Japanese champion Yukinori Oguni (#2) has climbed 2 places. Filling out the top 3 is former world title challenger Hidenori Otake (#3) who remains as he was. Filling out the top #5 is Shun Kubo (#4, previously #7), following his brilliant win over the world ranked Luis May.
In the Featherweight division we've seen Hisashi Amagasa (#3) give up the title ahead of his world title loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Amagasa fills out the top #3 which still sees Mark Gil Melligen (#1) and Vinvin Rufino (#2) as the top contenders. Amagasa's placing has however his Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (#4) who has dropped a place. Filling in the top 5 is Satoru Sugita (#5) who has remained where he was a month ago.
At Super Featherweight we've only seen a minor change in the rankings as Daiki Kaneko (#1) has swapped places with Rikki Naito (#2).
At Lightweight we've not really seen much in terms of changes at the top with Filipino fighter Rey Labao (#4) swapping places with Brett William Smith (#5).
At Light Welterweight we've not seen any changes at the top.
In the Welterweight division we've seen Filipino fighter Czar Amonsot (#5, previously #3) drop 2 places and fall below Tim Hunt (#3) and Dan Nazareno (#4), both of whom have moved up a single place.
The Light Middleweight division has a new champion with Dennis Laurente (previously #1) who defeated Tadashui Yuba (previously #4, now retired). That has obviously lead to a shake up at the top and the top contender now is Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka (#1, previously #3), who retained his title with a split decision win over Charlie Ota. The changes at the top have also allowed Dennis Hogan (#3) and Takayuki Hosokawa (#4) to climb 2 places whilst Michael Zerafa (#5, previously #8) fills out the top 5.
At Middleweight, where Akio Shibata recently defended his title, we've seen a shake in the top 10. The top ranked challenger, Ryota Murata (#1) is where he was however Les Sherrington (#2) and Dwight Ritchie (#3) have swapped places. Makoto Fuchigami (#7, previously #4) has dropped hard following his loss to Shibata. Fuchigami's all has allowed Garth Wood (#4, previously #6) and Hikaru Nishida (#5, previously #7) both into the top 5. A notable new entry in these rankings is big punching Maebara Tyson Koki (#12) who is really fun to watch even if he does have his limitations.
December saw Yuzo Kiyota retaining his title with his first defence. Sadly the rankings haven't really left him with clear options for a second defence with little in terms of changes, however Ben McCulloch (#6, previously #8) did feature in a notable bout when he was blasted out in a WBA interim world title bout.
At Light Heavyweight we've seen Blake Caparello (#2) swap places with Robert Berridge (#3) in the the only change at the top.
There has been no changes at Cruiserweight whilst there has a been little in terms of change at Heavyweight.
(For those interested the full rankings can be found here http://www.opbf.jp/data/ratings/2014/12.pdf)
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